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Roads: Litter

Question for Department for Transport

UIN HL15106, tabled on 20 April 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether the amount of litter at the side of main roads in England has changed over the last three years; and what plans they have to reduce litter on roads in England.

Answered on

26 April 2021

No specific assessment has been undertaken into changes in the amount of litter at the side of main roads in England, or research commissioned to compare levels of littering with the rest of Europe. On the Strategic Road Network (SRN), the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) monitors Highways England’s performance and delivery of its investment plan. The ORR’s most recent Annual Assessment of Highways England across Road Period 1 (2015-2020) acknowledged its efforts to address litter on the SRN but highlighted that there is more to do to achieve the vision set out in its own Litter Strategy.

As part of the second Road Investment Strategy (RIS2), which launched in April 2020, Highways England will report a litter performance indicator. This will measure what percentage of the SRN is predominantly free of litter, in line with the Code of Practice on litter and refuse. It will be published annually within Highways England's Delivery Plan Update due in the Summer. This will ensure there is increased transparency on litter levels for the Department, ORR and road users and that Highways England’s performance can be held to account.

The Government’s Litter Strategy outlines a variety of measures to reduce littering within a generation and sits alongside Highways England’s Litter Strategy for combatting litter on the SRN.

Street cleaning and litter picking on the local road network is covered by revenue funding provided by the Ministry of Housing, Communities, and Local Government (MHCLG).